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Acta Trop. 2020 Feb;202:105180. doi: 10.1016/j.actatropica.2019.105180. Epub 2019 Sep 19.

Rabies knowledge and practices among human and veterinary health workers in Chad.

Author information

1
Centre de Support en Santé International, BP 972, Moursal, N'Djamena, Chad.
2
Institut de Recherche en Elevage pour le Développement, BP 433, Farcha, N'Djamena, Chad.
3
Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, P.O. Box, CH-4002 Basel, Switzerland; University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland.
4
Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, P.O. Box, CH-4002 Basel, Switzerland; University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland; Environment and Sustainability Institute, University of Exeter, Penryn Campus, UK. Electronic address: m.s.lechenne@exeter.ac.uk.

Abstract

To prevent human rabies deaths close communication between the veterinary and human health sector is needed for timely and adequate treatment after a bite exposure. Good practice treatment and efficient One Health communication depends heavily on the knowledge and practices (KP) of both human health and veterinary workers. We have evaluated the level of KP of both these sectors during a one-day joint training program to kick start a large scale rabies burden and vaccine demand study in selected regions of Chad. Participants were evaluated through a questionnaire before and after training to get insight into the basic knowledge of rabies and the improvement of this knowledge after the training session. In addition to 20 questions on rabies derived from the educational platform of the Global Alliance for Rabies Control, the questionnaires included a pre-training knowledge self-evaluation and a post-training evaluation of the course. Overall 247 workshop participants with varied level of educational background responded to at least one questionnaire. Around 75% of respondents were from the human health sector and 20% from the veterinary sector. Knowledge level did not differ significantly between the two sectors nor between rural or urban working backgrounds. Respondents with a university degree scored significantly higher in pre-and post-training questionnaire compared to respondents with high school level degree or lower. Knowledge was also dependent on study region and sex of the respondent. In general, the importance of a One Health approaches, such as vaccination of dogs to prevent human rabies, is well understood in both sectors. Regarding treatment, many participants did not know the adequate number of doses required for a full course of PEP, but through the training, this knowledge improved. Detailed knowledge of atypical transmission routes and pathophysiology (neurotropism of the virus) was generally lacking and did not significantly improve through the training. The study revealed considerable deficiencies and challenges in the knowledge level of both veterinary and human health workers in Chad. Rabies control programs need to anticipate these challenges to implementation and provide sufficient time and funds for training workshops and follow-up.

KEYWORDS:

Chad; Education; Human health worker; Knowledge; Rabies; Veterinary worker

Conflict of interest statement

Declaration of Competing Interest None declared.

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